President Donald Trump's decision to pull nearly 12,000 US troops from Germany triggered an onslaught of disapproval from Republicans, Democrats and former senior military officials, who said the move will benefit Russia, degrade US national security and military readiness, cost US taxpayers billions and undermine US relations with Germany, NATO and Europe.
Trump's explanation to reporters about the withdrawal, announced Wednesday morning by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, misrepresented how NATO works and contradicted his own military officials, raising questions about what strategy -- if any -- drove the decision.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah described Trump's move as "a gift to Russia" and a "slap in the face at a friend and ally." Romney added that the "consequences will be lasting and harmful to American interests."
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